When it comes to architecture, it appears the curvier, the better.
Earlier this year, DNews reported the human brain prefers to look at buildings, homes and furniture that are curvy. We supposedly react to these shapely structures the same way as we would when we look at something beautiful.
On the other hand, the brain reportedly feels a sense of fear when looking at architecture with a lot of straight lines. This is because we tend to associate them with sharp objects.
This might explain the shift in architecture from the 20th century, whereby many iconic buildings were built around squares and straight lines, to the 21st century – think: curves, angles with bends, and rectangles with sensuous silhouettes.
With that in mind, here are five curvy buildings or structures from around the world:
1. 8 Spruce Street by Frank Gehry, New York, USA
New York by Gehry is a residential skyscraper designed by acclaimed architect, Frank Gehry, whose first Australian building has just topped out. The undulating waves of stainless steel covers three faces of the tower, reflecting the changing light and transforming the appearance of the building throughout the day.
It is Gehry’s incorporation of bay windows for some of the 903 apartments that creates the tower’s dynamic silhouette. By shifting the bay windows from floor to floor and tailoring their configuration for each residence, he has given each home the opportunity to “step into space”.
2. The Curving House by JOHO Architecture, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
The name of this project is a dead giveaway, but a line has been drawn here to penetrate the sky in an unusual way.
Ash-coloured traditional bricks embrace the concrete surface as fish scales, while slightly altering the angles. According to the architects, the bricks are of two different surfaces, and were piled to form a certain pattern from angles 1° through 25°.
Images: Sun Namgoong, courtesy architizer.com
3. Absolute World Towers by MAD, Ontario, Canada
Creators of these towers were not ashamed to admit the inspiration for their design was Marilyn Monroe’s shapely curves. The buildings, which were also nicknamed after the iconic actress, have slinky, circular structures instead of the normal, box shape of skyscrapers.
Standing at 492 feet and 558 feet tall, the two towers feature apartments with wrap-around balconies that offer panoramic views of the city. Floor-to-ceiling windows on each level are recessed deep into the curving façade to shade the apartments during hot summer days.
Images: Iwan Baan, courtesy architizer.com
4. Havøysund Tourist Route by Reiulf Ramstad Architects, Norway
Located in the extreme north of Norway, this curving concrete structure was created to magnify and slow down the experience of walking from the road to the edge of the Arctic Ocean.
The primary functional concern here was universal accessibility. Instead of opting for a dual solution with staircase and ramp, the architects developed the idea of making the ramp a common entryway, so that it becomes an integral part of the project.
5. The Blue Planet by 3XN, Copenhagen, Denmark
Comprising a series of curved wings designed to mimic the shapes generated by swirling water, Denmark’s new national whirlpool-shaped aquarium is clad in shimmering aluminium shingles that are reminiscent of fish scales.
Exhibitions are divided up between the curved wings, and there is no fixed route around the building. The architects hope that this will work to reduce queues for the most popular aquariums.
Image: Adam Mõrk, courtesy www.archdaily.com
Lead image: Zaha Hadid's masterplan for Bendy Beko building in Belgrade